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To buy, or not to buy. That is the question.

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by Mr. Toasty, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. Mr. Toasty

    Mr. Toasty New Member

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    Hello all!

    I am a new home owner who is looking to add a wood stove to my (work-in-progress) man cave. I grew up with fireplaces, but I have basically no experience with wood stoves. As such, I have questions galore! I want to have something that resembles a fireplace, or at least has the fire as visible as possible. I'm not looking for something to heat the house, but it should at least keep the room warm. To answer everyone's first question, yes I have checked local regulations to the best of my ability, and there are not any "special" regulations prohibiting certain types of heaters. I am budgeting this as tightly as I can since I am building out the rest of the room as well. It was a mostly unfinished room in the basement that was used as a workshop by the previous owner. The wall behind the heater will either be brick (at the base of the existing chimney) or fieldstone. The floor is concrete, and will remain so aside from maybe paint or an area rug.

    On a side note, I also have a few questions about rehabbing and maintaining the existing fireplace/chimney in my new home. However, I will endeavor to direct those questions to the proper forum area.

    My first question is, of course, can I even put a wood stove in this area? The man cave is/will be in a basement which is not completely below ground level. I could potentially feed the exhaust into the existing chimney, however, the chimney itself is not up to code and needs to be re-tucked and needs a rebuilt firebox. That is not currently in my repair budget, and I'm not sure if I want to feed into it anyway. I could potentially vent the exhaust through a steel plate in a window. I'm not particularly worried about light, it is a cave after all. Also, there is another window which would provide adequate lighting.

    So, if I were to feed the stove pipe through the window, would I need it to fully extend all the way above the roof? Could I simply have it extend beyond the house and then vertically to a point? I'm only considering this because the amount of pipe required to extend above the roof by 2 feet would be considerable, in my amateur opinion.

    I have located a few stoves that look decent. However, the one that I like is, shall we say, less than decent. Also, I'm not sure if it is actually an insert, rather than a wood stove. I have attached a couple of photos.

    00y0y_hL4cb4BpjeS_600x450.jpg 01212_edyDMTenSOs_600x450.jpg 00T0T_5rqOZ3f9kPq_600x450.jpg 00h0h_dPWLPVYMg5T_600x450.jpg 01313_jtbuIcCYRG5_600x450.jpg

    ... Yes, less than decent.

    Anyway, I kind of like that it is junky. I think that after I clean up a bit of the rust, it would look good in the room. I did go and have a look at it, and it seems to only have surface rust. It is difficult to see in the pictures, but there is a crack that runs front-to-back in the stone at about the middle of the unit. I don't know when it was made. The seller says the only identifying mark on the back says "Manufactured by Martin free standing fireplaces".

    So, if I were to buy this, could I actually use it or would it only be good for taking up space?

    Lastly, if this is not the unit for me, what would the community recommend as an affordable unit with a "fireplace feel"?

    Thanks in advance. Your input is most appreciated.

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That is a heat wasting basic old ZeroClearance fireplace. Walk away, quickly. You can do much better.

    Post some shots of the potential locations and the chimney. You may be able to run an insulated stainless liner down it. Other locations need to be examined for safety. That precludes going out a window unless it meets all clearance requirements. The new chimney pipe would be expensive, more than a stainless liner.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2014
  3. Simonkenton

    Simonkenton Feeling the Heat

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    I like the idea of going through a steel plate in a window. Yes the pipe will need to go above the roof. You do have to check the clearances from combustibles.
    As begreen alluded to, you can't just run a wood stove pipe into a fireplace chimney. The chimney will be too large. If you stove needs a 6 inch pipe you must put a six inch pipe all the way up the chimney.

    This is the next wood stove that I am going to buy, the Jotul Oslo. It certainly has the feel of a fireplace to me. This is a big stove and might be too large for your basement room. What size is the room? This bad boy goes for $2300.

    The basement install is a good one because you have a concrete floor and a concrete block wall, both fire proof. You can easily brick up the wall behind the stove, and, as you can see, it is very attractive.

    If that block wall behind the stove is underground, what you ought to do is to separate the brick wall several inches from the block wall. If the bricks are laid right against the blocks, all the heat that goes into the bricks will be sucked right into the dirt behind. With several inches of air between the bricks and blocks, that heat will radiate out into the room, and the amount of heat so radiated would be considerable.

    jotul oslo wood burning stove_full.jpeg
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2014
  4. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Going through a window with a steel plate scares the begeezus out of me. Just sounds like an accident waiting to happen. When I put a gas fireplace in my basement man cave, I core drilled through the foundation under the upstairs chimney... the inner wall and the outer. Surprisingly easy with a 2hr rental on a diamond core drill. So certainly don't discount that option, even if you have to install a window well or move a bit of dirt on the outside, probably much better long term than going through the window.

    As far as the appliance, are you specifically looking for wood burning? I have the wood insert upstairs for whole house heat, but it's really nice to be able flick a switch, warm the room up downstairs, watch movie, party, or what ever, then turn the switch back off and leave. I'm not a huge fan of natural gas, but in this application it works great. Plus, you can have a totally sealed, but very big view of the fire. Venting was also easier as all I needed to do was get the 6" intake/exhaust flue on the outside of the foundation and cap it. No need to extend all the way up the house and above the roof.

    Overall, I found a new gas fireplace on c-list for $300 and had about another $300 in flue material, so a relatively 'cheap' install. Even if you find a wood appliance for a few hundred $$, running the full length flue up the house can easily cost 3-4x that amount.

    Anyway, just something to consider.
  5. Simonkenton

    Simonkenton Feeling the Heat

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    I installed a dryer vent through a basement window. Granted there is considerably more heat with a wood stove than a dryer. But, lots of houses burn down every year due to faulty dryer vent pipe installations.
    In this case, the frame of the basement window was steel. I just broke out the glass and replaced it with a sheet of thin steel. I cut a hole in the steel and ran the metal dryer vent pipe through it. This is a very good installation, because most of the heat that goes into the steel sheet will be dissipated as it travels towards the edge of the sheet. In any event, the frame is metal and it is set in a concrete block wall.

    In the case of trying this with a wood stove, the biggest problem would be making sure that you are not near any wood framing. If the pipe running through the window was only a foot away from the floor joists above that wouldn't work.
    You would have to make sure you had clearance from combustibles to safely install a wood stove pipe in this fashion.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    There is little comparison in temps between a horiz. section of dryer vent pipe and stove pipe. But more importantly one is not permitted to run stove pipe through a wall/window. Period. It must be class A, high temp pipe with proper clearances honored.
    WASP likes this.
  7. Mr. Toasty

    Mr. Toasty New Member

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    Well, alrighty then. I guess that plan has been shot down pretty efficiently. Begreen asked for a few pictures , so here they are:

    IMAG0050.jpg IMAG0051.jpg IMAG0055.jpg IMAG0056.jpg

    The first two were from the same position in the doorway. The other two were also taken from the same spot, but the opposite side of the room.

    As I said earlier, this is a major work in progress. The countertop under the window is not built-in, and is coming out in the next couple days. The drywall of the window wall is just pretty much slapped up against the fieldstone. The same for the wall perpendicular to it. Both are coming down.

    The last picture shows the wall that was put up in front of the base of the chimney. It is the section just to the right of the cabinet. The shadowed area is the doorway. The crap on the floor is the last of the ceiling that I had to pull down. The previous owner failed to mention the squirrel infestation, so I had to clear that out before I did anything else.

    Since I will apparently need to break into the existing chimney for this, is there any way for the wood stove to vent up the chimney and still be able to utilise the fireplace on the first floor? I'm already planning on running a chimney liner, since re-tucking the chimney would be prohibitive. Would I need to run a secondary vent through it for the wood stove in the basement? That seems pretty redundant to me, but I understand that certain conditions must be met for proper draw and preventing excessive creosote.

    The more I look into this, the more I am worried that I won't be able to do it.

    As to some of the responses:

    Yes, I am pretty set on wood as the fuel. I enjoy it quite a bit, and it is affordable here. I could do gas, but it is just not my preference.

    I like that jotul oslo. That is pretty close to the look I am going for with this appliance. That price is beyond my reach, but maybe I will find something similar.

    Now I'm off to tear more stuff out of that room.
  8. bholler

    bholler Minister of Fire

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    Ok a few questions.
    1 Do you have 2 flues in the chimney one for the fire place and one for the crock sticking out of the wall there? and is that even a chimney crock?
    2 What are you planning on funning a liner for the stove the fireplace or both?
    3 What if anything is the chimney lined with now
    $ And what are you referring to when you say retucking I take that to mean repointing which would have nothing to do with the liner so I don't understand how the liner takes place of repointing if that is what you are referring to
  9. Mr. Toasty

    Mr. Toasty New Member

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    That is not a chimney crock. The chimney is behind the wall to the right of the cabinet in the picture facing away from the window. it is between the cabinet and the doorway. It is a double layer brick chimney. The mortar on the outside of the chimney is perfectly fine. Inside the chimney, there needs to be some mortar work done if I were not going to run a liner. As it stands, I am going to run a large insulated pipe down the chimney and seal it to the firebox so that I can use the fireplace on the first floor.

    I'm not sure if I can connect the vent from a basement wood stove to that insulated pipe though. Would I need to run two pipes through the entire chimney? Would they need to be side-by-side, or would run through the other? How might that affect the draw from the fireplace? I wouldn't think that one pipe would run through the other, but I'm not the expert here. If they run side-by-side, how much space would I need to have to be sure that I can install large enough pipes for both?

    I know some of this should be directed to the fireplace forum, but the subjects are kind of blending together at the moment.
  10. bholler

    bholler Minister of Fire

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    If you don't have 2 flues pretty much you are stuck running one or the other. The liner for the open fireplace will be much to large to run a wood stove in. The only way you might be able to run two things would be if you could fit 2 liners in the flue and then you could probably run a stove downstairs and up. But with only one flue I doubt there would be a way to run a fireplace and a stove in your chimney. And besides I don't know how you could possibly get a liner down to the basement through the fireplace and still have that fireplace useable.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    What is the dimension of each window section in the two window unit? Were you thinking of pulling out the cabinetry here completely?
  12. Mr. Toasty

    Mr. Toasty New Member

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    The Windows themselves are about 27 x 27. If I were to remove the metal sill as well, it would leave an opening of about 63 x 31.

    The countertop/cabinets are all coming out. The cupboard that is built into the wall is staying.
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It looks like you have enough room to remove the left window section and then frame out for a proper thimble. As long as clearances are honored and the proper connecting and chimney pipe are used, this looks feasible with a decent stove whose clearances are also honored. You might consider an Englander stove from HomeDepot like the 13NCi. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Englander-1-800-sq-ft-Wood-Burning-Stove-13-NCH/100157775

    I would suggest you download the DuraVent or SuperVent installation manual and read up on their through the wall option. If the interior connecting stove pipe doesn't have 18" clearance from the ceiling, use double-wall connector pipe. That has 9" clearance.
    http://www.duravent.com/Product.aspx?hProduct=1 (under the Literature tab)
    http://www.selkirkcorp.com/supervent/product.aspx?id=220

    Here is what a through the wall install looks like. You will need to frame in the thimble as shown and have a long enough tee extension through the wall/window to extend 6" into the room.
    Capture.JPG
  14. Mr. Toasty

    Mr. Toasty New Member

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    Wow. Awesome.

    Well, I finally came to the conclusion that the basement wood stove is not going to happen for a while. I am going to jam an insert into the living room fireplace though. I want there to be a way to vent a basement wood stove up the chimney along with the insert, but I just can't see how that could happen without some major remodeling. The chimney is pretty big, but probably not big enough.

    Thanks for all of the input. I'll probably be posting elsewhere on the forum in the near future.
  15. mass_burner

    mass_burner Minister of Fire

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    that sounds ominous.
  16. bholler

    bholler Minister of Fire

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    I agree are you planning on putting a liner in to connect that insert?

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